Forming your identity

Mental Health Blog / Monday, December 24th, 2018

As a combination of qualities, expressions, looks and beliefs; identities relate to basic values that govern the choices people make.

Rather than choose their own identities, most people internalise those of their parents or dominant cultures. And this is where the problem lies. In taking on the values of others, people are often not being true to their unique selves, thus unwittingly creating false identities. This discord can sentence them to confusing, depressing and unfulfilling lives.

To avoid this type of unhappy existence, people must be willing to take responsibility for their own lives and be prepared to diligently apply themselves.  Once they’re committed to building their own identities, the process is straightforward. In fact, it requires just two steps.

Step one: determine something you excel in

Get involved in as many varied activities as possible. Through trial and error, over time, you’ll discover something that truly excites you and makes your heart sing. When you do, you’ll know you’ve found a part of your identity.

Continue to hone the skills and talents it requires to fully develop this part of yourself, and then find occasions to use them. Just be aware that obstacles will arise and you’ll have to learn to deal with the frustrations they bring in order to be who you choose.

Step two: rinse and repeat

Keep doing these two steps for the rest of your life because your identity never stops developing. The act of constantly creating and shaping your own identity will make you happy, confident and empowered.

Although the two-step process for creating identity is straightforward for some, it can be challenging for others.  If you feel unsure about what your true identity looks like and you’d like someone to help you untangle where you begin and where other people’s influence ends, I’d love to help you.

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